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Inequality in America: Race, Poverty, and Fulfilling Democracy’s Promise, Stephen M. Caliendo

Reviewed by Katherine Levine Einstein



Rising income inequality has recently been the subject of a flurry of journalistic and political attention. It has also spurred a resurgence of scholarly attention to income inequality within political science with a multitude of books exploring the political effects of these economic trends, including Larry Bartels’s Unequal Democracy, Martin Gilens’s Affluence and Influence, Jacob Hacker and Paul Pierson’s Winner-Take-All Politics,and Nolan McCarty, Keith Poole, and Howard Rosenthal’s Polarized America, to name a few. Income inequality’s rising salience in the popular and scholarly spheres makes it a critical topic to cover in undergraduate courses. In this context, Stephen M. Caliendo’s Inequality in America: Race, Poverty, and Fulfilling Democracy’s Promise is a welcome addition to American politics classes.

Caliendo’s textbook covers an array of important topics within the broad field of American income inequality. He provides a thorough exploration of America’s representational design and offers detailed definitions of income and wealth alongside trends in both variables. Moreover, his chapters deal with two critical demographic dimensions of income inequality—race and gender—outlining how these two characteristics are closely intertwined with quest

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